Posts From August, 2020

The House That She Built

Utah Women Prove that Homebuilding is Women's Work

We built this home to educate everybody in the construction industry that there is a place for women to work making a good living, teaching a new generation that there are no longer traditional roles in the workplace, and to help eliminate the shortage of labor in our industry which is an ongoing problem. We feel like women can be a part of that solution. --  Jennie Tanner, President of the Utah Professional Women in Building.

 

When you're a little girl, parents don't often think about saying, “Hey, why don't you get a job in construction? Have you thought about being a plumber or an electrician?” Even school counselors don't discuss these options with girls. And so, three years ago, I joined the Utah-based charter of the National Association of Homebuilders and came up with an idea to build the first all-women-built home in the nation.

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New Net Zero Alliance Expedites Zero-Impact Future

Aaron Smith, CEO of EEBA, and TEAM ZERO’s communications manager, Mary MacLeod, discuss how their new alliance puts net-zero energy housing on a steep growth trajectory by generating consumer demand and educating home builders.
New Net Zero Alliance Expedites Zero-Impact Future
The news that the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) and TEAM ZERO formed a new alliance to move residential construction toward a zero-impact future is a game-changer for the industry. The deal combines the long-established education and training resources of EEBA with TEAM ZERO's crucial role in generating consumer demand. Q: What was the impetus for this alliance? A: Both EEBA and TEAM ZERO realized that together we provide a unique offering. It's a perfect example of a synergistic alliance where one plus one makes three. Builders who respond to this inevitable demand for zero-impact homes will lead the marketplace. It's not "if" but "when" zero impact housing will be the norm. EEBA and TEAM ZERO are committed to accelerating this timeline by arming builders with the skills needed to get there while queuing up consumer demand. But you can't have a zero-impact-home future without builders who know how to build them and buyers who demand them. We are... read more
 

New EEBA Logo Emphasizes Path to Zero

New EEBA Logo Emphasizes Path to Zero
Since 1982 EEBA has been providing the highest level of education surrounding building science. Beginning as the Energy Efficient Building Association they evolved into the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance in 2008 as their goals expanded to include a focus on the environment and high performance building initiatives. And now, as EEBA continues to push the industry forward on the path to net zero, they knew it was time to align their goals with their branding. After many months, and a great deal of input from the EEBA Board, intern Brooke Bratrud has designed a new, modern-looking logo to refresh and replace the original design. The colors, fonts, and shapes in the logo all possess important meaning that support EEBA’s clear intent to push the building industry forward. Since 1982 EEBA has been providing the highest level of education surrounding building science. Beginning as the Energy Efficient Building Association they evolved into the Energy and Environmental... read more
 

Sharpen Your SIPs Knowledge

If you’ve been wanting to learn more about SIPs, SIPA (Structural Insulated Panel Association) recently published two documents to help designers and builders better understand the process of using this high-performance building system. Building with SIPs: NEED TO KNOW provides readers with Building Considerations for right- sized HVAC equipment, plumbing design, the reduction of electrical labor due to factory cut chases, and more. The extensive document also includes Checklists for anything from the High-Performance Building Envelope to Shop Drawings to Roof and Wall Assemblies. In the High-Performance Building Envelope section, you are walked through steps to make sure the SIP envelope is as high-performing as possible while using the correct mechanical systems to create the most optimal, healthy, indoor air quality. Also included is a reminder to seal all penetrations and have a blower door test performed to verify you have no leakage.

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Energy Efficiency Equity

Energy Efficiency Equity
New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, recently announced an innovative public-private partnership aimed at creating energy efficiency equality for low-to-moderate income (LMI) households and affordable multifamily buildings. This announcement supports New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act by providing access to clean energy solutions for all. Many LMI households experience huge energy burdens, sometimes exceeding 20 percent of their household income. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has been actively searching for improved housing solutions for new affordable housing projects. More than 350,000 low-to-moderate income households throughout the state of New York will receive energy efficiency services such as insulation, air sealing, electric load reduction, and HVAC improvements. The initiative will invest almost $1 billion through 2025 and will include participation from NYSERDA, Central Hudson, Con Edison, National Fuel Gas, National Grid, ... read more
 

Green Mortgages Make Energy Efficiency More Attainable

Green Mortgages Make Energy Efficiency More Attainable
With many homeowners spending so much more time at home, many are discovering their living spaces may not be as comfortable as they once thought. Poor energy efficiency in a home can cause all types of issues - most can be easily fixed, but sometimes come with an upfront price tag that most homeowners don’t have cash on hand for. Whether you need to switch out your single paned windows, upgrade insulation or install a new HVAC system, an Energy Efficient Mortgage may be just what you need. Windows are responsible for almost 25% of annual heating and cooling costs. In some cold climates, double-paned windows can reduce energy use by up to 24% in the winter and up to 18% in hot climates. Additionally, updating your home’s insulation can save you around 20% on heating and cooling bills while technology, such as programmable thermostats, can translate to almost $200 in savings per year on heating and cooling bills. Energy Efficient Mortgages can be applied for when you’re doing... read more
 

How Much do you Know About our National Laboratories?

National Lab LocationsEEBA is grateful to have two of our National Laboratories as Alliance Partners. Their expertise and scientific innovation have benefited research around the country. But did you know that these two partners are part of a much larger group of 17 National Laboratories? The Department of Energy’s National Labs have been around for more than seventy years as a result of the U.S. Government heavily investing in scientific research during World War II. They each address large-scale, complex research and development challenges placing an emphasis on “translating basic science into innovation.” Some of the National Labs have supercomputers they use to model and simulate complex, dynamic systems that would be too expensive, impractical or impossible to physically demonstrate enabling scientists to explore renewable energy, weather forecasting, biological systems, as well as the evolution of the universe. Half of the fastest supercomputers in the world are located at National...

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Will Working from Home Create Housing Solutions?

As companies begin to make decisions on the feasibility of employees continuing to work from home, how might these shifts affect the housing markets in the U.S.?
Will Working from Home Create Housing Solutions?
Since early March, San Francisco-based technology company, Twitter, has been encouraging its staff to work from home. Recently, CEO Jack Dorsey took it one step further by effectively giving Twitter employees the opportunity to continue to work from home - forever. Twitter had already been looking at moving their workforce to a more “distributed” model as Dorsey has commented that he “no longer wants a workforce concentrated in San Francisco.” This could be interesting. Twitter reportedly has over 5,100 employees - about 1,000 of those based in San Francisco alone. If those employees decide to continue to work from home, what happens to the unused office space? Could the empty office space be turned into workforce housing with shared amenities (not unlike dormitories) with rooms offered at a less-than-market-rate monthly fee? The art-deco building already has yoga rooms, a cafeteria (with microbrews, of course), and a rooftop deck and garden. The idea of repurposing... read more
 

Concern for Better Indoor Air Quality is Growing

As many areas around the world continue sheltering-in-place a little while longer, indoor air quality and healthy homes continue to move to the top of the list of homeowner concerns.
A recent poll from Green Builder Media showed nearly 37% of their “readers believe that Health and Wellness/Indoor Air Quality will be the segment of the housing industry most impacted by the Coronavirus.” In addition to basic indoor air quality, their data suggests people are also focusing on home healthcare and telemedicine, fitness, cooking and kitchen design, smart home technologies that specifically make homes healthier, resiliency and self-sufficiency, and energy efficiency and onsite energy production. The majority of these topics relate to how we live in our homes. The poll results also show how indoor air quality has gone from being on most people’s “nice to have” list, to now being as important as location to some homebuyers. Data courtesy Green Builder Media High profile entrepreneurs are also looking at ways to improve the air quality in our homes. Elon Musk, the eccentric billionaire with an engineering background, has “dabbled” in technology and is the brains... read more